Archive for the ‘The Great Steam Locomotives’ Category


link & excerpts posted by Engineman Preserved Wook

SNCF 241.A.1 - The Greatest Locomotive Ever Built & Chapelon -- 112713by rogerc


‘To give this [claim] some scale, the French Loading Gauge is only slightly bigger that the British one, so you can draw a reasonably valid comparison between something like the British Coronation Scot and Chapelon’s 241.A.1. In terms of power output the Coronation Scot could produce around 2,500 Horsepower, and that on a bit of a transitory basis – Chapelon’s 241.A.1 could produce in excess of 4,000 Horsepower continuously. The French engine used around 20% less coal and around 40% less (more…)


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UP “Big Boy” 4014 Restoration Project

by Engineman Wook

THIS development will just make poor old Mr Senator Vice-President Al “Internet” Gore haul out his hair in bunches!



All I can say is that it is greatly to be desired one day to restore — even to rebuild from scratch! — A Norfolk & Western Y6b 2-8-8-2; the N&W Chesapeake-types were far more (more…)

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Garratts in South Africa & Queensland

by Engineman Preserved Wook

My railfan mate, Oz Pete, wrote me [a year or so since!  I just found these in the hotfile! EPW]:


These might interest you?

Some Beyer-Peacock promo BS about Garratts, in this case, the ones delivered to the Queensland State system (4-8-2+2-8-4’s…light axleload):


Copy and paste into address bar if necessary….

AND, better still, ‘World Steam Classics’, (parts 1 to 4):





….including building, operating, &c.




[Engineman Wook  

[all rights revert to holders  

[13 December 2012]

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by Engineman Preserved Wook, B&M (retd)

The posting below, in dieselpunks.org, caught my eye:


Also, here is their home page:


The first write-up is about the type of twentieth century steam locomotive design that is actually completely late-modern and in which the smoothness of form is integral to the function.  That integrity, in this case of Depression-era English LNER experimental and A-series steam locomotives, is completely unlike most contemporaneous American “streamliners”.  The latter, at a second glance, were mainly of sheetmetal cladding, “added on” as an afterthought and that often took visible running-ripples from the wind.

The industrial-design work of undoubtedly gifted artists such as Raymond Loewy, for the Pennsylvania RR, and Henry Dreyfuss for the New York Central, was also harnessed to an emerging consensus omnium about the role of design in 1930s American national economic recovery.  The ideological underpinnings of the American industrial-design “streamliners” (there were many of these workers besides Dreyfuss and Loewy!) caused workers self-consciously to reach for “modernity” as a kind of ding an sich.  This quest, potentially at least in conflict with performance goals, would go far to carry design as such away from strictly engineering criteria.  The story is comprehensively set forth by Jeffrey L Meikle, in 1979.  *

However, if you will take the trouble to do for yourself a (more…)

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by Engineman Wook

Here is a fine photograph from the last age, of a pair of holiday expresses racing East from Chicago in the Fall of 1928; it was taken the year before the stockmarket crash of 1929 and so symbolizes, acutely, the full reek and blossom of late-modernity.  With the post-WWII loss of American industrial nerve and destruction of the heavy industrial labor unions, and the tearing down of the wall in Berlin in 1989, the modernism of the Old Atlantic West is now altogether ended completely. 

All of that, though, was hidden in the dark future in to which raced eighty-two years ago the Pennsylvania Railroad 4-6-2 K4 on the Broadway Limited, and the 4-6-4 Hudson at the head of the New York Central Twentieth Century Limited.

Only their ghostly shadows remain, in a fine eternal image here that shows us still a deep moral and mythical truth, the truth of the human heart even though (more…)

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by Engineman Wook

Garratt articulated steam locomotives in some cases so much resemble, well, armadillos that I wonder why they never seem to (more…)

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by Engineman Wook

The 2-8-0 wheel pattern emerged in the period of high modern steam locomotive building, at the end of the 1860s.  And all down the decades more engines on this arrangement were built than any other.  The Wikipedia links shown give some background on the Consolidation; and, how indeed numerous examples were produced for the US Army in WW II, eighty years on:


Many of these last were sent to England for use in moving the huge quantities of D-day material.  Some readers are doubtlessly familiar with the WW II story of how some Liberty ships broke apart under the stress of stormy seas; this was a consequence of  the hasty employment of a new mass-production welding method.  It was perhaps a recurring characteristic feature of the mass-production methods of mass-warfare that the American-built wartime export locomotives had characteristic design flaws centering on poor firebrick arch-supports; collapse of these underway produced several hellish crownsheet failures and murderous boiler explosions in English service:


However, regular readers will recall that I have been meditating a write-up on an exceptional example of the 2-8-0 as built in 1935 on the lines of the American design, by the English Beyer-Peacock company for the Central Railway of Peru. 

It served as a mountain hauler of ore trains at altitudes of (more…)

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